Rappler Newscast | October 29, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The Philippines climbs 30 notches in the 2014 Ease of Doing Business report.
- A Pulse Asia survey shows public appreciation of the administration’s anti-corruption drive drops.
- At least 30,000 barangays proclaim winners for the barangay polls.
Story 1: PH AMONG WORLD'S MOST IMPROVED IN 'DOING BUSINESS' SURVEY
The Philippines improves 30 notches in the global survey that measures how much red tape private businesses encounter when dealing with government.
The Philippines ranks 108th out of 189 countries in the 2014 Doing Business survey released by the International Finance Corporation or IFC.
In 2013, the Philippines ranked 138th.
The country’s ranking in the latest survey is better than the government's goal of rank 109.
The Philippines ranks 6th highest in the ASEAN, and brings the Philippines ahead of Indonesia, which is at 120th.
Regulatory reforms helped improve the Philippines’ ranking, such as an improved tax paying system, simplified processes to obtain construction permits, and new regulations guaranteeing borrowers’ right to access their data in the country’s largest credit bureau.
Singapore and Hong Kong remain in the list of 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations.
Experts say improving the ease of doing business in the country can create more jobs and lead to inclusive growth.
GUILLERMO LUZ, NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL CHAIRMAN: What we’re trying to create is a better and friendlier environment for doing business. And that involves cutting all the steps and saving time, and that saves money for entrepreneurs and investors.
MOTOO KONISHI, COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR THE PHILIPPINES, WORLD BANK: Today over 95% of the labor force in the Philippines are from the small medium enterprises.And what you’re doing now is that jobs are created more and more in the future.
Story 2: ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN SUFFERS RATINGS DROP
A new Pulse Asia survey shows the Aquino administration’s anti-corruption campaign suffers a ratings drop at the height of the pork barrel controversy involving alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Public appreciation of the anti-corruption drive drops 12 percentage points -- from 59% in March to 47% in September.
Since the last survey in June, the most urgent national concern also changed.
Inflation as a national concern drops 13 points in the September survey from 61% in June.
Concern about corruption increases 17 points from 31% in June to 48% in September.
An earlier survey released by Pulse Asia showed no significant change in the approval rating of President Benigno Aquino.
Pulse Asia chief research fellow Ana Tabunda says survey respondents seem to differentiate the President from his administration.
Story 3: DE LIMA: JUST WAIT FOR BATCH 2 OF 'PORK' CASES
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says the filing of the second batch of pork barrel cases may be moved to next week.
De Lima says investigators and whistleblowers are --quote-- “distracted” by the bail hearings in the separate serious illegal detention case filed against alleged pork barrel queen Janet Napoles.
Sen Jinggoy Estrada, one of the respondents in the first batch of cases, criticized De Lima for the delay, suggesting the government singled out opposition lawmakers in the first batch filed in September.
Estrada and 37 others face plunder and corruption complaints before the Ombudsman for their alleged participation in siphoning billions of discretionary funds in exchange for kickbacks.
In response to Estrada’s criticism, De Lima says, “What is clear or what is sure is that there will really be a second batch.”
De Lima says the second batch will still involve “Napoles-related NGOs.”
Story 4: BENHUR THOUGHT NBI SENT BY 'MAYORS, SENATORS'
On the night former Napoles aide Benhur Luy was rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation or NBI, he thought the NBI agents were sent by Napoles, her brother, and “senators and mayors” to --quote-- “dispatch” him.
Luy recalls the incident during Napoles’ bail hearing Tuesday.
Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim face serious illegal detention charges for allegedly keeping Luy in custody from December 2012 to March 22, 2013.
Witnesses say the two suspected Luy of dabbling into Napoles' line of business – siphoning legislators' funds through dubious NGOs.
Day 2 of Luy's testimony also dealt with the letters Luy allegedly wrote while detained in Napoles' Magallanes property.
Luy says he wrote at least 2 letters while under detention.
The Luy family says the letters prove Benhur was detained against his will.
But the defense counters that it doesn't, because the letters made no mention of him being detained.
Story 5: PNP: 'UNVALIDATED' POLL-RELATED VIOLENCE RISES TO 46
A day after the barangay elections, the Philippine National Police or PNP says the number of poll-related violence rises, but these have yet to be validated.
During the election period of September 28 to October 28, the PNP records 46 incidents of election-related violence, including 24 on election day itself.
The 2010 barangay elections had 22 total incidents.
But PNP Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas Jr says the PNP expects the 2013 figure to go down after validation.
Of the 46 incidents, 39 were victims of shooting, 1 of strafing, 3 of stabbing, while 3 were victims of other forms of violence.
The PNP says 25 total were killed, including 9 who died on election day.
This year, about 42,000 barangays held polls, with 6,216 barangays identified by the police as priority areas.
As of 1pm Tuesday, the Commission on Elections says winners are proclaimed in at least 30,790 barangays.
The figure is 73.26% of the total barangays nationwide.
Story 6: ARE SCHOOLS IN PH EARTHQUAKE-PROOF?
The magnitude 7.2 quake that rocked Central Visayas happened on a holiday -- fortunately keeping school children away from danger.
With the government rebuilding destroyed schools, the education department wants to make sure the new buildings will be earthquake-proof.
Jee Geronimo reports.
How strong was the earthquake that hit Central Visayas on October 15?
It killed more than 200 people, destroyed centuries-old churches, and isolated towns due to impassable bridges
Latest reports say more than 600 schools in Bohol alone were damaged.
Fortunately, there were no casualties in schools that day, a holiday.
BR ARMIN LUISTRO, DEPED SECRETARY: Medyo kakaiba yung challenge pag earthquake unlike the usual baha or kaya bagyo ano. Kasi sa earthquake naco-compromise yung structure. So unang-una, lahat ng eskwelahan, kesyo nadamage o hindi, ay kailangan naming bisitahin. (The challenge is a little different when you’re dealing with earthquakes instead of the usual flood and storm. The structure is compromised in earthquakes. So we have to visit all the schools whether they were damaged or not.)
Luistro says the Department of Public Works and Highways will rebuild classrooms and make them more earthquake proof.
The latest building code require structures that can withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake and 250 kph winds.
More than 500 classrooms are turned over to the Department of Education, the first batch in the Public-Private Partnership School Infrastructure Project.
Winning contractor Megaworld also says the school buildings will last generations.
EDGAR SAAVEDRA, PRESIDENT, MEGAWIDE CONSTRUCTION CORP.: The method we used here, we used the solid concrete instead of hollow blocks because hindi lang naman earthquake e. Even though yung durability, we're talking about 50 years, 60 years, the solid concrete will still last longer from leaks even to earthquakes, it's even stronger.
About 30% of schools in Bohol will have to be torn down and replaced.
Students in affected schools will have to hold classrooms in tents.
JEE GERONIMO, REPORTING: If October 15 was a school day, more lives would’ve been lost. More than meeting its target number of classrooms, the department now faces a new challenge: to build strong schools that can withstand the worst of disasters.
Jee Geronimo, Rappler, Bulacan
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, At least 11 people died Monday in northern Europe as a fierce storm lashed the region.
The storm cuts electricity in Britain and France, leaving more than 500,000 homes without power before connection was restored.
It also forces mass cancellations of train services across southern England, Denmark, The Netherlands and parts of Germany.
The storm was named Christian in France and dubbed St Jude by British media.
At number 6, A global watchdog says two chemical weapons sites in Syria are inaccessible because of the security situation in the war-torn country.
In a statement, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or OPCW says inspectors had not yet visited two of the 23 chemical sites.
The joint OPCW-United Nations mission is charged with destroying Syria's chemical arsenal by mid-2014.
And at number 8, Following allegations of US spying on its allies in Europe, journalist Glenn Greenwald says the US surveillance is about power, not anti-terrorist operations.
Greenwald, a former reporter of the Guardian, used leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden to break stories on secret US intelligence operations.
Early on, the US government defended its programs, saying it thwarted many terrorist plots.
But recent news reports say the US allegedly spied on Germany, France, and Spain.
In an interview with CNN, Greenwald says the US spying system is “directed at innocent people.”
He adds, “This is clearly about political power and economic espionage, and the claim that this is all about terrorism...is pure deceit.”
Newscast Production Staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista